Category Archives: Bonding

The Connection Between Childhood Experiences And Adult Problems

by Marcia Sirota       Author, speaker, coach and MD
SAD CHILD

As an adult psychiatrist, I spend a lot of time thinking and talking about childhood, and there’s a good reason for this. It’s become abundantly clear over the past 20-plus years of doing psychotherapy that childhood experiences are at the root of adult problems.

Every person who’s walked through my office door suffering from depression, anxiety, relationship or work problems, low self-esteem or addiction has a history of some type of adversity in their childhood. It’s become clear to me by listening to their stories that were it not for these painful events, the person wouldn’t be struggling as much as they are, today.

When we look at a young child who’s beginning to show signs of emotional disturbance or behavioural issues, what we’re seeing is that something has happened to them, or something is happening, that is causing them the beginnings of a problem.

If we’re to do the best for our children, we have to understand the basic emotional necessities of childhood and the types of events that are likely to cause a child difficulties, now and in the future.

Whether we’re dealing with a child who seems mostly well-adjusted in the moment, or one who’s begun to exhibit signs of more significant dysfunction, those of us in the helping fields want to do everything we can to optimize the child’s emotional and psychological well-being so as to prevent future problems.

If we’re to do the best for our children, we have to understand the basic emotional necessities of childhood and the types of events that are likely to cause a child difficulties, now and in the future.

When it comes to the necessities of childhood, we have to remember that perfect parenting is neither necessary nor possible. A child just needs, as the British psychoanalyst Donald Winnicott so aptly put it, “good enough parenting.”

Good enough parenting means that the child is loved and valued for who they are, not for how they behave, and the child is nurtured, cared for and protected, but not coddled. In fact, the “good enough” parent allows the child to be disappointed and frustrated at times, so that they learn to tolerate and cope with these types of experiences in adulthood.

And interestingly, “good enough parenting” also applies to the other adults in a child’s life; the adults who teach, guide and support the child. Each one of these adults has an important role to play in the child’s development and emotional well-being.

When we think about the experiences that lead to difficulties in childhood and beyond, there are two distinct types: the absence of certain necessities or the presence of hurtful events.

Children need to feel important, but not so important that their agenda supersedes that of the parent. Overly-permissive parents who indulge their children are depriving them of the guidance and limits they need in order to develop appropriately and function optimally as adults.

Love, affirmation, guidance, protection and limits: these are the necessities of childhood. When a child is raised with all of these things, they’re far more likely to grow into high-functioning adults with good confidence and self worth, who have constructive coping strategies in difficult times.

When we think about the experiences that lead to difficulties in childhood and beyond, there are two distinct types: the absence of certain necessities or the presence of hurtful events.

If a child is neglected; if they’re not praised enough — perhaps from a parent’s misguided notion that this will give them a “swelled head” — or if they’re not encouraged to do things, the child will grow up with a lack of confidence and self-worth.

Children take things personally, so what they experience informs their identity. 

If part of the neglect includes a lack of protection from hurtful experiences, the child will grow up feeling helpless, worthless — because they’ll start to see themselves as not entitled to protection — and perhaps even deserving of harm. Children take things personally, so what they experience informs their identity. Love them, and they feel good about themselves; neglect them, and they feel bad.

In terms of adverse events that happen to a child, these experiences can take many forms: a child can be emotionally hurt or abused through harsh criticism, shaming, blaming or the instilling of guilt; they can be physically assaulted via overly harsh corporal punishment or beatings with fists, belts or other objects, or they can be sexually abused.

The child can have an overly-controlling or perfectionist parent; a narcissistic parent who expects the child to excel so that the parent can feel good about themselves, or a parent who competes with their child because they’re threatened by the child’s youth and promise.

A child can be picked on, bullied, made fun of or taken advantage of. They can be ostracized and isolated by those around them, and made to feel worthless and useless.

These experiences can occur at home, at school, during extra-curricular activities or in play-time. Parents, siblings, relatives, friends, teachers, coaches, even members of the clergy can be responsible for hurting a child. Sometimes, more than one person is doing so, which of course adds to the child’s current and future emotional difficulties.

There’s another, more subtle way a child can be hurt, and this is when one or both parents make the child responsible for tasks that they’re too young to manage. This makes the child feel incompetent and inadequate and often filled with shame for “failing” at tasks that developmentally, they’re not expected to know how to accomplish.

These types of tasks can include being made to care for younger siblings or managing the household at a very young age; being put in the role of parental confidante; being thrust into the position of mediator between fighting parents; being responsible for the family’s finances, or being pressured to perform at school, in their hobbies (for example, performing arts, spelling bees or math competitions) or in individual or team sports at a level that is beyond them, or not what they themselves want to do.

Sometimes, it’s not the parents who expect too much from a child; it can be a teacher, a coach or anyone else who is pushing a child beyond the limits of their ability. There’s a fine line between encouraging a child to do their best and making a child feel oppressed by adult expectations. Encouragement and support will most likely bring out the best in a child, but pushing them too hard could cause them to have emotional problems.

If we want to protect our children from harm and prevent current and future difficulties, we need to be aware of the ways in which a child’s self-confidence, self-worth, sense of optimism and ability to function can be compromised.

Some hurtful experiences come from other types of family stressors; for example, when one of the parents or a sibling becomes ill or dies; when one or both parents are very young and ill-equipped to handle being a parent; when a parent is suffering from mental illness and their symptoms are expressed in bizarre or unpredictable behaviour toward their children; when parents are dealing with other difficulties such as work stress, financial problems, crises in the extended family, serious addictions or a troubled marriage.

All of the above are experiences which will have a negative impact on a developing child. If we want to protect our children from harm and prevent current and future difficulties, we need to be aware of the ways in which a child’s self-confidence, self-worth, sense of optimism and ability to function can be compromised.

When we see signs of dysfunction or disturbance in a young child, such as excessive anger, sleep refusal, acting out, defiance, compulsive behaviours, destructive behaviour toward themselves or others, truancy, school failure, agitation or moodiness, we need to search carefully for the roots of this behaviour and as much as possible, address the problem immediately, so as to improve things for the child, now and for the future.

Young Minds Matter is a new series designed to lead the conversation with children about mental and emotional health, so youngsters feel loved, valued and understood. 

Dating a Player?

Are You Dating A Player? 15 Tell-Tale Signs
May 16, 2014

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We all believe we will be able to spot him. Getting swept away is for those other, more naïve, girls. But the truth is a player can be that good. He has had years to perfect his skills, hone in on what women want, and give it to them in such small doses that they keep coming back for more. He is smart, handsome, and charismatic. He knows exactly what to say. Falling prey to his womanizing is easy. That is, unless you can spot the signs. He may not be doing all of these things, but if he is doing more than a few, you may have a player on your hands.

1. He comes on strong. There is instant chemistry. You both feel it. He must see you again soon. The texting begins almost immediately. The phone calls. Intimate conversations. Another date is scheduled within days, if not hours, of the first. He will not let you slip away, no matter how much you resist. And, usually, you do not.

2. It gets sexy quickly. Whether it is during the first conversation talk turns to sex, or on the first date, you can be pretty confident this guy is looking to get naked with you, and fast.

3. He pulls back, even disappears, as soon as things go well. So now you are hooked. The relationship you think you are building is moving along nicely. You enjoy each other’s company, the sex is amazing (after all, practice makes perfect and he has had plenty of it), and you are pretty sure he is The One. Then, out of nowhere, he puts on the brakes, and you are left scratching your head trying to figure out why, and what you did to cause this unwelcome outcome. Chances are, though, you never will.

4. You spend a lot of time analyzing what he says. He says he adores you, and loves being together. He texts that he misses you, and cannot wait to see you. But then when he does, the relationship never progresses. Sound familiar? If you need to analyze what he means, then he likely does not mean what he says. When a guy is truly interested in seeing only you, there will be no need to guess what his intentions are. They will be obvious.

5. His words do not match his actions. He makes promises he does not keep. He talks about the future, even in the short term, but never follows through. If you try to pin him down for plans more than a week in advance, you will find yourself standing on shaky ground, never being sure such arrangements will come to pass until you are in the midst of them.

6. He makes it seem like you are crazy. If you are actually brave enough to confront him about his inconsistent relationship talk, he will look at you as though you are certifiable. Surely he has made his intentions known to you over and over again. In his mind he has covered himself and, in a way, he has. Believe a guy when he says he does not want to commit to you. The romanticism he exhibits is all about living in the moment, or re-enacting a fantasy, but, rest assured, reality will rear its ugly head sooner rather than later. The only thing that makes you crazy is coming back for more.

7. Relationship is a dirty word. Want to be a buzz kill? Just ask a player where your relationship is headed, and you will likely see him head for the door. Of course you have a relationship. You are just not in one.

8. You never meet his friends or family. You may feel like you know them because he speaks about them constantly. You know what they do, what they say, and what they like, but you do not know them personally. When a guy wants to integrate you into his life, he will introduce you to those who are special to him. He will want to show you off. If he keeps you isolated, it is not because he wants you all to himself. It is more likely he compartmentalizes because there are other women in his life besides you.

9. He is still online. If he still maintains an online dating profile or profiles, and remains active on them long after you start sleeping together, long after you make your relationship objectives known, it may be time to consider other options. If it is monogamy you seek, and the guy you are seeing is not interested in offering that, it is probably smart to re-evaluate and move on. Waiting for someone to change should never be a consideration. Be clear to him and to yourself about your goals. Otherwise, you may never find what you are looking for.

10. He refers to you as a friend. A guy who is serious about you will make you his girlfriend. He will want you and the rest of the world to know you are unavailable to any other man. If he refers to you as a friend, both in private and in public, he is letting you and everyone else know his options are still open.

11. Most of his friends are women. Not only are most of his friends women, they too are referred to as friends. Casual conversation does nothing to reveal whether or not he is having or has had a sexual relationship with any of these friends, and you are deliberately left wondering what makes you any more special than the others. Likely you are not.

12. He brags about his sexual history. There have been many women in his past, and he is not shy about informing you of his sexual conquests and why these endless attempts at a relationship failed, no doubt due to every reason apart from him.

13. He has a poor track record for commitment. What better indicator of future behavior than past behavior? If the guy you are seeing has been dating for two or three decades and has yet to experience a monogamous relationship that outlasts the change of four consecutive seasons, it is wise to question whether he can or will want to offer you the commitment you desire. Though there are exceptions to every rule, and people can and do change, the odds are not stacked in your favor.

14. There is no such thing as goodbye. No matter how many times either of you call it quits, say your goodbyes, and wish each other well, somehow he always manages to reappear, waving a flag (a red one, if I may) via a text, an email, or an article he innocently forwards along, implying he is around if you want him to be. Never promising more, only toying with your emotions, making you wonder whether this time things will be different. The problem is, they never are. At some point it comes time to recognize the cycle, and break it.

15. Your gut tells you so. Women’s intuition is real. Trust it. If you think your guy is a player, chances are it is you who is being played. Game over.

copied from http://divorcedmoms.com/blogs/middleagedman-ia/are-you-dating-a-player-15-telltale-signs

Eight Things Happy Couples Do Differently!

Steal these habits to make your relationship stronger than ever

Happy couple laughing

We all know them. The couples who revel in each others’ company, are each other’s number one supporter and clearly prefer each other over everyone else. Lucky them, eh?

Well, it’s not so much luck as hard work, says relationship psychologist and author Susan Quilliam. That easy camaraderie and total togetherness actually takes real graft.

“From the outside looking in, other people’s relationships can look effortlessly strong. However, this is rarely the case. Good relationships take work and constant attention. Being in a long-term, committed relationship means finding a way to retain our own identity while making room for someone else’s at the same time as creating a new one – an ‘us’ or ‘we’, rather than an ‘I’ or ‘me’ – each party is able to take on and share their partner’s life goals,” she says.

This is just one of the signifiers relationship psychologist John Gottman, world-renowned for his work on marriage stability and long-term relationships, flags up as a sign of a healthy, committed partnership. Read on for seven more ways to build stronger bonds and happier futures.

1. Happy couples…communicate

Successful couples don’t experience fewer set-backs than the rest of us, they just deal with them differently.

“It’s important to keep talking when these ‘life events’ strike, no matter how anxious or tense you might feel,” says Susan. “Sharing the load and coming to a practical solution together help you strengthen and build confidence in your partnership.”

2. Happy couples…check in with each other

Long-term relationships – or more specifically, the people in them – change, so don’t assume you know everything about your other half.

“Don’t take your partner for granted,” says Susan. “Opinions, hopes and dreams evolve. Is that the case with your partner? I often hear one half of a couple insist he or she isn’t supported in their goals, only for these goals to be complete news to the other party.”

3. Happy couples…show empathy and are self-aware

If you’re lucky, says Christine Northam of Relate, you’ll have grown up with a healthy model of arguing.

“If your parents argued productively – they were able to ‘fight fair’ – it’s more likely you will too,” she says. “But even if it was all-out war, there are lessons you can take from that. You probably have a good idea of how hurtful that particular behaviour was, and how it’s something you’d rather not repeat. So stop, reflect, and take time out to get some perspective.”

4. Happy couples…stay physically close

This doesn’t necessarily mean sex. Regular touching, hugs, kisses and hand-holding all help build and reinforce feelings of closeness. A recent report from the US, published in The Journal of Social Psychological and Personality Science, found those couples who had been married for more than 10 years and still described themselves as ‘intensely in love’ were also the couples who showed most affection towards each other.

We look at ways to bulletproof your relationship.

5. Happy couples…share common values

“Generally speaking, there are three indicators of how successful you’ll be as a couple,” says Susan. “These are common interests, complementary personalities and similar values. Of the three, sharing common interests is probably the least important, despite the fact that similar passions are what draw many couples together in the first place.

“Basic personality traits must be reasonably compatible, while common values – in my opinion, the most important of the three – must match,” says Susan. “Being constantly at war about the fundamental things in life that make you happy – family, friends, your work/life balance – is wearing and ultimately, rarely sustainable. These differences will grind a relationship down quickly.”

6. Happy couples…know definitions of love differ

“Your partner’s definition of what loves means, and what it means to be loved, might be different to yours,’ says Susan. “For instance, women like to be listened to, focused on, and appreciate small gestures such as their partner doing the washing up. They also like their partners to tell them they love them.”

Men, on the other hand, are much more likely to show ‘proof of love’ with gifts. In their eyes, the fact that the two of you are still rubbing along together means things must be going OK. Understanding and catering to this is essential in a happy partnership.

7. Happy couples…respect each other’s values

Happy partners understand that they sometimes have to do or put up with things they don’t like, because it makes the other person happy.

“If you have no problem turning a blind eye to an untidy house, yet still get the vacuum cleaner out because your partner hates mess, you’re saying, ‘I don’t understand it myself but I’ll help because you care about it and I love you’,” says Susan.

8. Happy couples…are committed

It sounds obvious, but you both have to want to be in the relationship to make it work.

“You need to place a higher value on ‘we’ than on ‘I’,” says Susan. “You have to show good will; prove that you to want to resolve issues and see them through.”

Dr. Sue Johnson on CREATING CONNECTIONS

“We now begin to see love as intelligible and malleable.  We will be able to shift from an obsession with the FALL part of love to the MAKE aspect of love, and make this more than sexual connection.  We can develop confidence in our ability to work with and mold our most precious love relationships.  This changes everything!”        Dr. Sue Johnson


Three Kinds of Sex

 

Attachment theory can help us understand sexuality better. In a secure attachment relationship, the three aspects of relatedness – sexuality, caregiving and attachment – are integrated. Research says that securely attached couples tend to be more sexually satisfied and better at caregiving. In Hold Me Tight, I connect attachment strategies to habitual sexual behaviors. I suggest that there are three kinds of sex: synchrony sex, solace sex, and sealed-off sex. Synchrony sex is where eroticism, play, openness, and bonding come together and augment each other. In solace sex, more anxiously-attached partners tend to focus on reassurance and affection rather than on eroticism. The third kind of sex is sealed-off sex, where more avoidant partners focus mostly on sensation and performance. This kind of linking of sexuality and attachment – as a theory of romantic love – will enable us to integrate EFT and sex therapy interventions more and more effectively.

 

 

Is an Affair Inevitable?

Is it inevitable that in a long term relationship somebody has an affair?

LOVE SENSE With Dr. Sue Johnson: Your questions answered. As an expert in the field of bonding and attachment, Dr. Johnson receives many questions requesting…

What’s Your Attachment Style?

SONY DSCWe fondly call each other “baby” when we enter a new relationship, but we are often completely unaware of how our own infant relationships to our parents can influence the way we trust romantic partners as adults. “Attachment parenting” has become a buzz word among new parents. But attachment as adults is rarely discussed

This week on Wine with Dr. Wendy we dig into the juicy aspects of psychology as we discuss Attachment Theory, and how infant bonding with our parents can affect our relationships into adulthood. We briefly explain how someone can identify their own attachment style, and give tips for dealing with partners who may attach differently than yourself. Joining me is Dr. Sue Johnson, clinical psychologist, researcher, professor, and primary developer of Emotionally Focused Couples Therapy (EFT), as well as author of the recent book Love Sense. Also joining me is hangout producer, Laura Hampikian, and the lovely Erica Djossa, B.A., MA, blogger and couples counselor of www.EricaDjossa.com.

Watch the broadcast from the steam below, or head over to YouTube.

 

How to Change Your Attachment Style

By Darlene Lancer, JD, MFT

How to Change Your Attachment StyleWe’re wired for attachment — that’s why babies cry when separated from their mothers. Depending especially upon our mother’s behavior, as well as later experiences and other factors, we develop a style of attaching that affects our behavior in close relationships.

Fortunately, most people have a secure attachment, because it favors survival. It ensures that we’re safe and can help each other in a dangerous environment.

The anxiety we feel when we don’t know the whereabouts of our child or of a missing loved one during a disaster, as in the movie “The Impossible,” isn’t codependent. It’s normal. Frantic calls and searching are considered “protest behavior,” like a baby fretting for its mother.

We seek or avoid intimacy along a continuum, but one of the following three styles is generally predominant whether we’re dating or in a long term marriage:

  • Secure: 50 percent of the population
  • Anxious: 20 percent of the population
  • Avoidant: 25 percent of the population

Combinations, such as Secure-Anxious or Anxious-Avoidant, are three to five percent of the population. To determine your style, take this quiz designed by researcher R. Chris Fraley, PhD.

Secure Attachment.

Warmth and loving come naturally, and you’re able to be intimate without worrying about the relationship or little misunderstandings. You accept your partner’s minor shortcomings and treat him or her with love and respect. You don’t play games or manipulate but are direct and able to openly and assertively share your wins and losses, needs, and feelings. You’re also responsive to those of your partner and try to meet your partner’s needs. Because you have good self-esteem, you don’t take things personally and aren’t reactive to criticism. Thus, you don’t become defensive in conflicts. Instead, you de-escalate them by problem-solving, forgiving, and apologizing.

Anxious Attachment.

You want to be close and are able to be intimate. To maintain a positive connection, you give up your needs to please and accommodate your partner in. But because you don’t get your needs met, you become unhappy. You’re preoccupied with the relationship and highly attuned to your partner, worrying that he or she wants less closeness. You often take things personally with a negative twist and project negative outcomes. This could be explained by brain differences that have been detected among people with anxious attachments.

To alleviate your anxiety, you may play games or manipulate your partner to get attention and reassurance by withdrawing, acting out emotionally, not returning calls, provoking jealousy, or by threatening to leave. You may also become jealous of his or her attention to others and call or text frequently, even when asked not to.

Avoidant Attachment.

If you avoid closeness, your independence and self-sufficiency are more important to you than intimacy. You can enjoy closeness — to a limit. In relationships, you act self-sufficient and self-reliant and aren’t comfortable sharing feelings. (For example, in one study of partners saying goodbye in an airport, avoiders didn’t display much contact, anxiety, or sadness in contrast to others.) You protect your freedom and delay commitment. Once committed, you create mental distance with ongoing dissatisfaction about your relationship, focusing on your partner’s minor flaws or reminiscing about your single days or another idealized relationship.

Just as the anxiously attached person is hypervigilant for signs of distance, you’re hypervigilant about your partner’s attempts to control you or limit your autonomy and freedom in any way. You engage in distancing behaviors, such as flirting, making unilateral decisions, ignoring your partner, or dismissing his or her feelings and needs. Your partner may complain that you don’t seem to need him or her or that you’re not open enough, because you keep secrets or don’t share feelings. In fact, he or she often appears needy to you, but this makes you feel strong and self-sufficient by comparison.

You don’t worry about a relationship ending. But if the relationship is threatened, you pretend to yourself that you don’t have attachment needs and bury your feelings of distress. It’s not that the needs don’t exist, they’re repressed. Alternatively, you may become anxious because the possibility of closeness no longer threatens you.

Even people who feel independent when on their own are often surprised that they become dependent once they’re romantically involved. This is because intimate relationships unconsciously stimulate your attachment style and either trust or fear from your past experiences. It’s normal to become dependent on your partner to a healthy degree. When your needs are met, you feel secure.

You can assess your partner’s style by their behavior and by their reaction to a direct request for more closeness. Does he or she try to meet your needs or become defensive and uncomfortable or accommodate you once and the return to distancing behavior? Someone who is secure won’t play games, communicates well, and can compromise. A person with an anxious attachment style would welcome more closeness but still needs assurance and worries about the relationship.

Anxious and avoidant attachment styles look like codependency in relationships. They characterize the feelings and behavior of pursuers and distancers described in my blog “The Dance of Intimacy” and book, Conquering Shame and Codependency. Each one is unconscious of their needs, which are expressed by the other. This is one reason for their mutual attraction.

Pursuers with an anxious style are usually disinterested in someone available with a secure style. They usually attract someone who is avoidant. The anxiety of an insecure attachment is enlivening and familiar, though it’s uncomfortable and makes them more anxious. It validates their abandonment fears about relationships and beliefs about not being enough, lovable, or securely loved.

Distancers need someone pursuing them to sustain their emotional needs that they largely disown and which wouldn’t be met by another avoider. Unlike those securely attached, pursuers and distancers aren’t skilled at resolving disagreements. They tend to become defensive and attack or withdraw, escalating conflict. Without the chase, conflict, or compulsive behavior, both pursuers and distancers begin to feel depressed and empty due to their painful early attachments.

Although most people don’t change their attachment style, you can alter yours to be more or less secure depending upon experiences and conscious effort. To change your style to be more secure, seek therapy as well as relationships with others who are capable of a secure attachment. If you have an anxious attachment style, you will feel more stable in a committed relationship with someone who has a secure attachment style. This helps you become more secure. Changing your attachment style and healing from codependency go hand-in-hand. Both involve the following:

  • Heal your shame and raise your self-esteem. (See my books on shame and self-esteem.) This enables you not to take things personally.
  • Learn to be assertive. (See How to Speak Your Mind: Become Assertive and Set Limits.)
  • Learn to identify, honor, and assertively express your emotional needs.
  • Risk being authentic and direct. Don’t play games or try to manipulate your partner’s interest.
  • Practice acceptance of yourself and others to become less faultfinding — a tall order for codependents and distancers.
  • Stop reacting, and learn to resolve conflict and compromise from a “we” perspective.

Pursuers need to become more responsible for themselves and distancers more responsible to their partners. The result is a more secure, interdependent, rather than codependent relationship or solitude with a false sense of self-sufficiency.

Among singles, statistically there are more avoiders, since people with a secure attachment are more likely to be in a relationship. Unlike avoiders, they’re not searching for an ideal, so when a relationship ends, they aren’t single too long. This increases the probability that daters who anxiously attach will date avoiders, reinforcing their negative spin on relationship outcomes.

Moreover, anxious types tend to bond quickly and don’t take time to assess whether their partner can or wants to meet their needs. They tend to see things they share in common with each new, idealized partner and overlook potential problems. In trying to make the relationship work, they suppress their needs, sending the wrong signals to their partner in the long run. All of this behavior makes attaching to an avoider more probable. When he or she withdraws, their anxiety is aroused. Pursuers confuse their longing and anxiety for love rather than realizing it’s their partner’s unavailability that is the problem. It’s not themselves or anything they did or could do to change that. They hang in and try harder, instead of facing the truth and cutting their losses.

Particularly after leaving an unhappy codependent relationship, people fear that being dependent on someone will make them more dependent. That may be true in codependent relationships when there isn’t a secure attachment. However, in a secure relationship, healthy dependency allows you to be more interdependent. You have a safe and secure base from which to explore the world. This is also what gives toddlers the courage to individuate, express their true selves, and become more autonomous.

Similarly, people in therapy often fear becoming dependent upon their therapist and leave when they begin to feel a little better. This is when their dependency fears arise and should be addressed — the same fears that keep them from having secure attachments in relationships and propels them to seek someone avoidant. In fact, good therapy provides a secure attachment to allow people to grow and become more autonomous, not less.

Herein lays the paradox: We can be more independent when we’re dependent on someone else — provided it’s a secure attachment. This is another reason why it’s hard to change on your own or in an insecure relationship without outside support.

Suggested reading on attachment
The many books by John Bowlby

Mikulincer and Shaver, Attachment Adulthood Structure, Dynamics, and Change(2007)

Levine and Heller, Attached (2010)

©Darlene Lancer 2014

About Darlene Lancer, JD, MFT

Darlene LancerDarlene Lancer is a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist, specializing in relationships, codependency, and addiction. She has a broad range of experience, working with individuals and couples for more than twenty-five years. Her focus is on helping individuals overcome obstacles to leading fuller lives, and helping couples enhance their communication, intimacy, and passion. She is a speaker, freelance writer, and maintains private practice in Santa Monica, CA. For more information, seewhatiscodependency.com, where you can also get the FREE ebook, “14 Tips for Letting Go.”

Find her book Codependency for Dummies at Amazon and Barnes and Noble.

 

Psychotherapy